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Posts Tagged ‘Taylor’

Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, July 1994

By Barbara Nilson
Based on taped interview by Bill McDermand in November 1993 and interview by Barbara and Edward Nilson in June 1994.

“I’m the only boy from the Valley that made it to the big leagues,” said Johnny Lazor as he displayed his 1946 championship ring, “and I’m proud of it.”

“I’m the only boy from the Valley that made it to the big leagues,” said Johnny Lazor as he displayed his 1946 championship ring, “and I’m proud of it.”

But the road to the outfield of the Boston Red Sox in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals wasn’t easy.

He was born in Taylor in 1912 to Veronica and Michael Lazor (pronounced Lawser in the Valley but known as Laser like the beam in baseball circles) who had immigrated from Czechoslovakia. His folks met in New York in the 1890s and went to Franklin around 1908 for his Dad to work in the mines dumping cars. They then moved to Taylor where the first of four children were born.

The oldest was Mary, born in 1908, then Mike, 1910, and Johnny was next. In 1914 the family moved onto their 20-acre farm in Hobart and the youngest boy, Vincent was born.

His folks paid $10 an acre for the farm, which they sold in 1969 to the Bill McDermand family. It is located on the old road to Taylor (S.E. 208th St.) on the north side. When his folks moved here it had all been logged off, but huge stumps remained. Lazor said it took a box and a half of powder just to blow them open. (more…)

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Originally published in the Renton News Record, July 17, 1947

On July 7 the Seattle Water Department took possession of the property of the Gladding McBean and Co. at Taylor and there ended some 50 years of the industrial development of the Puget Sound area.

It was interesting to watch the number of people and the kinds of vehicles which have been hauling material from Taylor which the company sold at a bargain price provided the purchaser did the wrecking and hauling.

That material is appearing in the improvement of existing homes or the beginning of construction of new homes. So the Maple Valley community continues to improve and grow.


Some indication of the growth of the community may be gleaned from reliable reports that there are now 70 families with permanent residences on Lake Sawyer with three times that many summer homes.

The Lake Sawyer area now has electric power, rural mail delivery, school buses, and telephone connection through the Black Diamond exchange. Now Lake Sawyer is trying to establish daily to connections to Seattle. The community continues to grow.

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, July 1, 1906

L.H. Curtis

L.H. Curtis

Len Curtis has been railroading in the Northwest for so long that he blushes like an old maid when he finds that he has been betrayed into reminiscences of pioneer days.

He doesn’t deny that he is now the oldest railroad conductor running out of Seattle, but he doesn’t look the part and he conscientiously explains that people think he is a liar when he talks about things so long ago. Besides that one or two close relatives are the only persons in this part of the country who know how old he really is and they have instructions not to tell anybody until the stone-cutter is ready to go to work on his tombstone.

Curtis is the energetic little man whom everybody calls “Len” as he hustles them on board the Columbia & Puget Sound flyer every afternoon down at the Pacific Coast Company’s depot, and who knows the price of coal, eggs, and logs all the way from Black River Junction to Black Diamond better than the natives themselves. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, June 30, 1940

The stubborn fire near Hobart, twenty-five miles east of Seattle, which is believed to have been set by a firebug early last week, burned on unabated last night over an area of almost 1,800 acres of cutover land while weary crews battled to keep it within present confines.

Immediately threatened are the huge stands of virgin timber near and on Seattle’s Cedar River watershed. The flames licked their way into this first-growth timber in several spots late yesterday and only by hard work were the crews able to check their spread. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 16, 2016

By Bill Kombol

This photo of the Maple Valley railway depot was taken in 1948 as viewed looking northbound along the Maple Valley highway (aka SR-169). The depot was also used as the dispatcher’s office.

It was the second railroad station in Maple Valley, replacing the first constructed in 1885, when the original rail line was built to access coal from the newly developed town of Black Diamond. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 19, 2016

By Bill Kombol

This January 20, 1948 photo shows a PCRR engine pulling loaded coal cars as they cross over the Cedar River near Maplewood Golf Course in Renton.

This January 20, 1948, photo shows a PCRR engine pulling loaded coal cars as they cross over the Cedar River near Maplewood Golf Course in Renton.

This column’s focus over the next several weeks will be the Pacific Coast Railroad (PCRR), previously known as the Columbia & Puget Sound (C&PS). Perhaps no other single venture was more important to the development of the Maple Valley–Black Diamond area than the railroad. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, June 4, 1975

(This is the third in a series of articles on historical personages written by students in Mrs. Vicci Beck’s history class at Tahoma Junior High School.)

By Bruce Jensen

Edith Johnson Wright at Peacock Station on the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad, Hobart, 1911.

Edith Johnson Wright at Peacock Station on the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad, Hobart, 1911.

The following article is from an interview with Edith Wright who has lived in Hobart since 1909. The interview proved very fruitful, with Mrs. Wright being a veritable storehouse of facts about Hobart in the early 1900s. I had no trouble in obtaining the information from her and enjoyed the interview very much.

Edith Wright

Mrs. Wright’s father was one of the most colorful and influential figures in Hobart’s history, Oscar “Strawberry” Johnson. He was a leader by nature, and did much to improve the Hobart area.

In 1907 he bought the remaining 80 acres of the Clifford homestead and began raising strawberries. The first year, he planted two or three acres, but later he planted more. Penny Clifford peddled the berries in Taylor, Ravensdale, Black Diamond, and Issaquah. (more…)

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